Sunday, May 22, 2016

Baby Stuff I didn't use the first time around

This post is kind of about the topic identified in the title, but, as usual, I do a lot of rambling too.

One of the things I loved about being pregnant the second time around was that I didn't have to experience the terror and confusion of trying to figure out what we needed to own to successfully care for a baby. It was so much easier to just dig stuff out of the basement or have whoever I lent it to return it, rather than trying to create a registry of things I'd never even heard of. However, even though we just finished with the baby stuff, I've discovered some new things this time around. Nothing that is mandatory or required, but all things that make my life a little easier. I'm pretty mad I never knew about them or tried them the first time. Here they are so that expectant mothers or people who are considering having another child can benefit, or you can just read about crazy baby inventions for your own curiosity.

Hand pump




I've written a lot about pumping, but with Dalton, I only ever used the double electric pump. Towards the end of breastfeeding with Dalton, around 10 months, the great clogged duct debacle of 2015 happened. I went to Babies R Us and bought a hand pump in desperation. It did not help, and I didn't understand why people sung their praises. Seemed like a lot of work for very little payoff.

With Royce, I haven't started pumping yet. The pediatrician told me I could go ahead at his one week checkup, and I was like, thanks but no thanks. I'll be doing plenty of pumping in the near future, and while I want to build up a freezer stash, I have no desire to start yet and/or risk an oversupply.

(Side note - I've finally started to understand the difference between medical advice and parenting advice from the pediatrician. She said I should pump so Eric could give Royce a bottle and give me a break. Sounds nice, but I would still have to pump when he ate, and I hate pumping, so that wouldn't actually be a break. While I appreciate her concern, I'd rather wait.)

Anyway, I got off on a tangent there. The point is, I'm trying to postpone breaking out the electric pump, but a few times, I've been so engorged that it's painful and Royce was sleeping. I  grabbed the hand pump and used it for a couple minutes just to get more comfortable. I was really impressed with how efficient it was and it was so much easier to grab than setting up the whole electric pump. I'm thinking I might just keep it by the bed for that reason.

Moby 

I used the Ergo with Dalton, up until I was nearly 30 weeks pregnant. I loved it, and so did he. I definitely plan to use it again. But I didn't love using it with the newborn insert, and it seemed too bulky when I was just wearing it around the house in the early days while he was tiny.

Dalton at 3 weeks old, I was so sleep deprived (so much more than this time!).

My friend lent me her Moby, because I heard they work better with newborns. Moby wraps seem to be a love or hate thing, but I am loving it. It's way more snuggly with a tiny baby, and even though it does take a little more time to put on than the Ergo, I'm getting faster with it.

I should have taken a picture when I used it yesterday, because we went to a birthday party and I actually did my hair and makeup. But when I cropped this picture to hide the mess in the background it cropped out my eye bags, so not a total fail.

Obviously, with a toddler, it's pretty necessary to have two hands free since he's constantly putting his life in danger.

Truth.

My Brest Friend 

Ridiculously terrible name, awesome product. I had the Boppy (basically a C shaped pillow) with Dalton and it worked fine, but he always slipped down between the pillow and me while I was nursing. I randomly bought this when I saw a never used one for sale for $8 on our local Facebook exchange group, before I was even pregnant again. I figured I would throw it in the closet and hopefully nurse a newborn again eventually. 


It goes all the way around your waist and clasps, so there's no gap for the baby to slip in between and is overall firmer and holds a tiny little newborn up better. In fact, I even nursed Royce while I typed part of this post! And it has that little pocked that you can store stuff in like Lanolin, chapstick, and chocolate. Which I keep meaning to do and keep forgetting, because mom brain is real. 

Milk catchers

Speaking of mom brain being real, my friend that lent me the Moby also lent me this handy little thing called a "Milkie". It sits in your bra and catches any milk that leaks from the opposite side while you nurse. I'd heard really good things about it and was super excited to try it out. As I was finally setting stuff up for baby time around 38.5 weeks, I remembered it and went to get it out. I couldn't find it anywhere and it drove me completely crazy and I looked everywhere I could think of all week. I still haven't found it. This is why I generally try not to clean. I like everything where I can see it, on my living room floor, to avoid these types of problems. 

After a week, I decided to give up and just order these Avent ones another friend recommended. I only leaked with Dalton in the early days, so I felt like it was a now or never thing if I planned to try it. 



I am obsessed with these. After less than a week of using just those (no pumping!), I had enough milk in the freezer for a whole day of daycare. I'm so mad that I just threw away so much milk in breast pads with Dalton. I'm glad I bought this brand too, because I heard with the Milkies it's easy to spill the milk, and I've moved all around wearing these, changed diapers, etc, and nothing has spilled. Plus, you get one for each side, and with the Milkies you only get one. 

Stella and Dot necklace

I didn't really know anything about this jewelry. A few weeks before Royce was born, my friend had a Stella and Dot party, and I showed up mainly for the people and the food. Then I loved their engraved necklaces, and I really wanted one with both my kids' initials. I thought it would be nice when I went back to work and really missed them it would help me to feel connected and all that crap. Of course, I couldn't order it, since at that point we didn't know what the sex was and the initials for our boy and girl names were different. The party was open for orders online for 3 weeks, which was the day after my due date, so we joked that I could order one from the labor and delivery room. Royce kindly arrived a week early, so I was able to pull myself together enough to order a necklace in time! I love it so much. I guess technically it's not exactly baby gear but it's something awesome I never had before. 

Selfie where it's hard to see and backwards because my hair looks good and I want to pretend I have myself together.



Snuggle Nest


First night home!

One thing I was really excited about that another friend loaned me was the snuggle nest. It's a cosleeper that goes right in your bed. I used this the first night home with Royce, and it was really nice because I could pick him up with very little movement. You don't realize how much you use your abs getting in and out of bed, among other things, until you have them sliced open. With Dalton, Eric had to pick him up from the rock and play every time he woke up for the first week or so. This time, we slept separately as part of our divide and conquer strategy (I get up with the newborn, he chases the toddler all day). I don't like how that kind of makes him seem like a jerk because it's not like that at all, I suggested it and if I need him I just call and he comes right in to help me. I'm just a lot more confident this time and since Eric can't lactate, he's kind of useless for most night needs so I figured there was no point in both of us being sleep deprived. Also, Dalton has woken up a few times since Royce came home, so that falls to him. So don't get any ideas that he's anything less than a stellar husband and father.

Running the show at library story time last week.

Anyway, after the first night, Royce woke up a bit from the fog of being born and figured things out. Since then, he's not such a big fan of sleeping in the snuggle nest, the rock and play, or anywhere that's not my arms. I'm pleased to report that unlike last time, this is not stressful in the least. I know it will pass, and until it does, I love snuggling with him. I'm also all too aware of how quickly the time will come when he jumps off my lap and runs away to explore like his big brother does now.

Seems like a lot of my friends have babies that just go to sleep places other than their parents' arms, right out of the womb. Like they just lay down and sleep at night and don't scream to be held at all times. I know because people ask questions like "how long does he go in between feedings?" and "how many times was he up last night?". These questions assume that: there was time in between feedings (not really, it's an all night boob fest over here), and that there were definitive periods of waking up during which I was coherent enough to keep track. I know people really do have these magical unicorn babies, because I've met them, but it's not been my experience. But let me reiterate - not complaining! I love my snuggly, affectionate boys and that's just part of the package with them! (Full disclosure - the affection is all one sided between Royce and I currently, but I know he'll come around.) Plus, when babies cry to be held...it's an easy problem to solve, and I like easy solutions, especially when they include holding cute babies.

I'll take all the cuddles I can get from these sweet little guys!
We have not initiated any of the times Dalton has held Royce! It's all his idea! We asked a couple times when he first came home, but he wasn't interested, so we dropped it. Then suddenly, this weekend, he can't hold his little brother enough. I die.



Who had a magical unicorn baby? Go ahead and brag. Or share how your baby refused to sleep if you didn't. 


Monday, May 16, 2016

Rambling thoughts about my newborn and time in the hospital


I'm not one for inspirational quotes or cheesy platitudes. When Dalton was born, I found myself a ball of mush, realizing a lot of those over the top emotional statements were true. Well, here I am again. While I suspected I would probably love kiddo #2 as much as my first, now that he's here and it's actually happening, I can't even believe it. It's true though. Things like "my heart is so full" is not really something you'll generally hear me saying, but I really do feel it. These two beautiful boys are absolute perfection, and I can't even get over my good luck to get to spend all my time with them right now.

First picture as a family of four
After the excitement of finding out it was a boy, I was, naturally, dying to meet him. Eventually, after they got him cleaned up (so probably actually like 5 minutes), they brought him over and then Eric held him while I was being stitched up. Someone in the OR casually mentioned Royce was rooting, and that made me extremely anxious and I was freaking out about getting to feed him as soon as possible. First mom guilt with this kid - laying here like a lazy ass getting stitched up after surgery, withholding food from my child. I kept asking when I could nurse him.

In the recovery room, I got to nurse Royce right away, which was great, because it took hours before I could feel my hands and stop shaking enough to feed Dalton. At the end of my pregnancy, I had started to get really eager to breastfeed again. However, while I was looking forward to it, I was also nervous, because there's so much that can go wrong. Dalton was relatively easy to breastfeed - overall, things went pretty smoothly, even with a tongue tie at birth. While we did have our challenges, the worst ones came later on in the game, so I could deal with them because I was past the insane hormonal postpartum period. While I'd like to say I am realistic about a second child being different and potentially using formula, I'm not truly there. Logically, it makes sense, but I loved breastfeeding Dalton, and I wanted that again.

Recovery.  Beautiful.

While we're certainly not free and clear just yet, Royce latched right on in the recovery room and never looked back. He nursed for something like an hour and a half, and he's probably spent about 96% of his life on the boob since then. I thought I knew what cluster feeding was before. I was wrong. Dalton was actually fairly regular (for a newborn) with feedings every two hours or so. Royce just nurses all day and all night. He honestly rarely even goes an hour in between feedings, although probably some of it is for comfort and I'm not sure if he's really drinking much. I'm thrilled that it's going so well, and I feel it's made the first week pretty easy. He's barely cried, mainly just for diaper changes. He's a happy camper if he's on the boob, and I can provide that, which means we're all staying pretty happy. I'm also really hoping that it's great for my supply. It's forced me to just sit and do nothing, which is exactly what I need for recovery right now. The only downside is that I feel bad, since Eric has gotten very little time with him, but he has his hands full with Dalton and he knows its just temporary.

Royce isn't a big fan of being put down, and wants to be held at all times, as newborns tend to do. At least in my two experiences.



So we pretty much just snuggle nonstop, and I pretty much love it. I appreciate it even more now that I know how fleeting it is. While I can't wait to get to know Royce better and discover his personality, I want to freeze time at this cuddly smushy baby stage.

I'm feeling some weird sadness now that his birth is over. I certainly didn't expect that, since I spent my entire pregnancy anxious about the logistics and emotional impact of leaving Dalton. And I think we can all agree that labor and delivery isn't anyone's favorite part of parenthood. Still, there's something just so special about meeting your child for the first time, and it's obviously such a rare experience.

A special experience that includes this special gift. 

Anyway, all my fears about Dalton were, naturally, unfounded. While he definitely missed us, he had a lot of fun with his grandma and grandpa while we were in the hospital. I didn't worry much about him at all, partially because they kept the pictures of him having fun coming, partially because it's amazing what a distraction giving birth, recovering from surgery, and not sleeping can be.

After I nursed Royce, we hung out in the recovery room for awhile. It was so much better than my first time there. I didn't have the uncontrollable shaking, and they let me have ice chips. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it was. They took Royce to have a bath, and us to our room in the Mother/Baby wing at about 11:30pm, which was perfect, because my mom and sister were just arriving from NY. Even better - the night nurse gave me the green light to eat in the morning, AND, more importantly, have coffee. This was huge because last time I wasn't allowed to have anything until the following night at dinner. After everyone met Royce, it was time for bed.

Royce slept for like 4.5 hours in the nursery (rooming in - not for us). Eric actually had his own bed in the room and passed out. I DID NOT SLEEP. Like literally, slept zero. I would doze off, then wake up to the beeping of my machines or the calf sleeves that constantly inflated and deflated on my legs, look at the clock, and every time maybe 5 minutes had passed. I finally did fall asleep after feeding Royce, around 6am, but then by 7:30 nurses were coming to check my vitals, the cafeteria was calling to ask if I needed breakfast, etc. Typical hospital life. Even my iced venti Americano didn't do much for me (but it was delicious). I kept nodding off mid conversation with people.

I tried to get it together for an exciting morning - my two boys meeting! I actually wasn't that excited about it, because I wanted to keep my expectations low and not push things. Of course, I was dying to see Dalton.

It was anticlimatic for sure. I think he was really scared by all the machines I was hooked up to, and wouldn't even look at me at first and just clung to Eric. He did get over that, luckily.

I missed my big boy.

However, he showed no interest in his new baby brother.

New siblings can't compare to new surroundings to be explored.
Until it was diaper change time. That, he found fascinating.


The next day was the hospital day I'd been waiting for. My epidural came out (at least in my experiences, they leave it in for the first day post c-section, which is a GREAT time to be numb), my IV came out, and I was officially unattached to machines and allowed to walk to the bathroom by myself. The epidural made me insanely itchy, which never happened last time. I kept asking for benadryl, which they gave me through my IV. It helped minimally with the itching and not at all with my general exhaustion and lack of intelligence. I took my first post partum shower, which is one of the best experiences in life, painful as it may be. 

This time, Dalton visited after his nap, and things went much better. 

Still no interest in Royce, but at least he wasn't terrified of me. 
I'd been hoping to spend Mother's Day at home, but I had to stay another day. It turned out to be really nice though, I got to cuddle both my boys, and spend time with my own mother. Plus, our hospital prep paid off, and we were prepared to stream Game of Thrones in our room.

Monday morning, we were ready to peace out as soon as we were discharged. Amazing how much less scary it is taking a baby home the second time around. The nurse had to go over basic baby safety with us as a requirement, and then asked if we had any questions about feeding, sleeping, diapering, etc before we left. We couldn't even think of any questions! Crazy. Dalton was playing outside with my mom when we pulled up, and he went crazy when he saw our car. It was the best reunion.


This is certainly not an example of my best writing. I keep thinking of a million things I want to say on the blog, but have no time to type any of it up. I'll never understand how a tiny little creature that sleeps approximately 23.5 hours a day takes up so much time to care for. 

So on a scale of 1-10...how awesome are babies? Definitely a 10 in my book.

If you selected 2 or lower...how awesome was Game of Thrones last night? AMAZING, right?



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Royce's Birth Story


It's a boy! Royce Gray Lindsey arrived on May 6, 2016, at 6:50pm. I started using the hashtags #boymom and #twoundertwo just two days later. Here's his birth story, in all its TMI glory.



His story is quite different from how his older brother joined us! I'm not all about talking to my kids when they were fetuses. In fact, I've done it only once that I can recall. (Side note, I just said "my kids"....plural....woah.) A few weeks ago, in the shower, I randomly started thinking how nice it would be if this time labor could begin after a full night of sleep, rather than having to labor all night and lose a night of sleep like I did last time. I started actually telling the baby, out loud, to do that. And I threw in a few things about how nice and fun sleeping through the night would be, because why not?

I can't remember if I mentioned it on here, but I was really really hoping my water would break on it's own. I don't know why but I just really wanted to experience what that was like. Also, it's a nice clear way to know if labor has begun, as opposed to contractions, which can start and stop and be confusing.

Thursday, Dalton and I had a nice morning meeting with some friends at the local library story hour. I dropped him off at daycare for his nap, intending to use the afternoon to get some errands done. Once I dropped him off, I only got one thing done before I started feeling completely like crap, and went home and napped the rest of the day. I even made Eric pick Dalton up, I couldn't even deal.

That night, after dinner, I had about an hour of consistent contractions. I was even timing them. I got in the bath, and it was super comfortable, but once got out the contractions seemed to have stopped, so I just went to bed. I woke up a few times in the middle of the night with contractions, which was new, but they weren't consistent and they were hardly painful.

On Friday, I was officially 39 weeks - full term! Dalton woke up earlier than usual, and Eric brought him up to me to hang out in bed while he got ready for work (I started my maternity leave a little early so I was staying home). Before he left, (TMI ALERT), I lost my mucous plug. I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but that was what really ramped up labor with Dalton. I told Eric today could be the day and to keep his phone close by.

After he left, Dalton wanted to play in the basement. Just about the only thing he will sit in my lap for these days, other than food, is to look at his truck book.

Picture from a previous truck book viewing.
About 7:30am, we were just chilling, checking out the trucks, when I felt a big POP, and it was just like all my friends have described their water breaking. Sure enough, there was a small puddle on the blanket I'd been sitting on. After that, the it seemed to stop, so I was a little confused about whether or not it had actually broken. Immediately my mind started racing, trying to figure out who to call first and what my course of action should be to take care of Dalton and get myself to the hospital. Naturally, I turned to snapchat.

My friends will screen shot crucial SC chats because they are devoted to the blog. 
So, Eric's phone was for some reason on vibrate, after like a month of him having it at full volume at all times to be prepared. My friend Kristin, our appointed babysitter for when the time came, was my next call. She only lives a mile away and came right over to take Dalton to daycare. I called my mom, since our plan was that my stepfather would drive down as soon as I went into labor to stay with Dalton (it's about 400 miles so he needed to leave immediately). I also texted daycare since I hadn't planned on bringing him that day. Finally, I called Eric's school and told the secretary to send him home as soon as he arrived. Somewhere in there I did remember to call my doctor as well.

As I was running around trying to get dressed and ready to go with a toddler to care for while continuing to blow up Eric's phone, I started to feel some contractions, but there was no chance of timing them or even paying attention because I was so frantic. Obviously I could still talk through them, and even carry a toddler up and downstairs through them. Dalton could clearly tell something was up and got really upset when Kristin arrived at our house. I couldn't figure out what to do between transferring the car seat, getting Dalton to daycare, and getting myself to the hospital in the opposite direction since Eric wasn't answering. I thought I would just drive myself, but luckily Kristin wouldn't hear of it and said she would just drive all of us there in the van and then go drop Dalton off. 

I started timing contractions in the car, and by the time we got to the hospital (about 15 minutes), they were 2-3 minutes apart and I couldn't talk through them anymore. My confusion over whether or not my water had actually broken was alleviated, my pants were soaked by the time we arrived. \ All along, I'd pictured this emotional goodbye with Dalton when the time came, but having increasingly intense contractions while standing outside the hospital in the rain wasn't it. I couldn't do much but give him a quick kiss and promise that even though Grandpa would be seeing him that night, we would come back, and even though he was upset, the pain was a good distraction and I headed in to labor and delivery.

As I entered the hospital, I had a little trip down memory lane as I doubled over a chair in the lobby to get through a contraction - pretty sure I used that same chair while Eric parked the car with Dalton! Good memories. The front desk guy asked me if I was ok...um, I'm hugely pregnant, moaning over a chair on my way to labor and delivery...what do you think?

In L&D, they let me hunch over the desk while they went through my information and then took me to triage. I was seriously struggling with the contractions at this point, but I felt like I was dealing with them mentally better than before. I focused on my breathing for each one, and was able to keep in mind that they were bringing me closer to meeting my baby (something that I did NOT find helpful last time) and just really tried not to tense up and fight the pain. They gave me a hospital gown to change in to, and while I was changing, I heard Eric arrive. He called to me in the bathroom, but I was well beyond talking during contractions and they were so close together I had to use the breaks to get into the hospital gown.

When I came out, they said a midwife was going to check me for progress and to confirm my water had broken. She was able to confirm that immediately as soon as she looked, and saw I had progressed to 3cm. That might not sound like much but I was barely there after over 16 hours of labor with Dalton, and this was less than an hour after my first contraction. They said they were going to admit me (which I'd had no doubt of) and when another nurse came in, they asked her to fill out epidural paperwork. Music to my ears. It was like they knew me, and just kept encouraging me by telling me I'd have the epidural soon. Exactly what I needed to hear.

We got to the room, and the nurse prepared to put my IV in (I needed antibiotics because I was GBS+). I told them last time I was here it took them five tries to get it right, and they clearly heard my desperation because the nurse got it in immediately with no problems. Shockingly, for this needle phobe, watching her do it was a welcome distraction from the contractions. Eric also helped a lot by rubbing my back and showing me pictures of Dalton on my phone and not speaking. I was prepared to wait since I figured the anesthesiologist would be busy first thing in the morning, but he showed up right away and I had the epidural in by 9:30am. That's just two hours after my water broke! I was instantly in heaven and couldn't believe my good luck. I truly cannot express my love of the epidural, the most wonderful invention in this world.

Post epi, obvi.

After less than two hours of painful labor, I was relaxing, watching Kelly and Michael, and texting friends the news that we were in the hospital. Well, my body doesn't know how to let me just relax with the epidural, apparently. The baby's heart rate dropped, and after trying the familiar rolling me and oxygen mask, the nurse pushed the OBERT button, just like last time. I learned that stands for OB Emergency Response Team, so immediately the room fills with people yelling things I don't understand, they all start unplugging me from everything, and the whole party goes down the hall to the operating room. The nurses were being really nice and trying to explain everything to us, and we were just like, don't worry, we got it, not our first rodeo with the OBERT button.

We even had time to snap chat.
They did tell us that they weren't necessarily going to operate, we would wait once we got ready to see if they could get the heart rate back up, which they did, immediately (and that's when we took the above picture, FYI, we aren't totally heartless). We hung out in the OR for a little while longer to make sure things were ok. The heart rate was stabilized, so they brought us back to the delivery room! I was really thankful they were working so hard to both make sure the baby was ok, but also try to get him or her out without surgery, like I wanted.

Then, it was time to wait.

We took more pictures.


Because why not.
They used this "peanut" to put between my legs to encourage the baby to get out.


We watched a How I Met Your Mother marathon, Meet the Parents, and played "Heads Up" to pass the time.

I was awake, I swear.

It gave me a new respect for people who are induced...so. much. waiting. I'm not sure there's anything that makes someone more impatient than waiting to meet their baby after 9 long months. That was true for me, anyway.

Lots of picture taking.

Around noon, I was feeling a lot of pressure, so the nurse checked me and said I was at 8cm. This seemed like great progress - I never even got that far at all last time. Since I wasn't in pain, I was starving, obviously I hadn't had time for any breakfast during our crazy morning. The nurse said my doctor would be in around 4, and I would probably push then, assuming I was at 10cm (which we did).

My doctor came in around 3:30, checked me, and said I was at...8cm, 100% effaced, and baby at -1 stationHowever, she indicated that she didn't believe I was really at 8cm at my noon check, so I was able to still convince myself I had made progress. She wasn't concerned, and we just hunkered down to wait some more. 

Around 4, the baby's heart rate dropped again. They did the usual measures to increase it, and prepped the OR for me...again. This time, they got the heart rate back up in the delivery room, and I was instructed to stay in one exact position without moving, since it was the only way the baby seemed happy. I was happy to oblige since I REALLY wanted to to avoid that OR.

Around 6pm, my doctor came in to check me again, and I was at...8cm. Based on their expressions, I was getting the idea that this was a bit of a problem. I'd made no progress since 3:30, and probably really not since noon. I was contracting regularly and strongly, so that wasn't the issue, the contractions just weren't finishing the job. My doctor said that the shape and size of my pelvis was most likely just preventing the baby from descending all the way. She said we could just do a c-section, or wait and give the baby more time and see what happened. I asked if she actually thought that would make a difference, and she said no. I trust her completely, so we said to go ahead and get ready for another c-section.

When she left, I shed a few tears. Of course, the first and foremost goal was to have a healthy baby, but I'd really wanted to avoid surgery and get the experience of pushing the baby out, the "natural" birthing experience (with the epidural, I'm not crazy). Plus, my doctor had already told me before that two c-sections means that any subsequent births will need to be c-sections, so this meant I would never get another try at a VBAC. Eric helped cheer me up, mainly by focusing on the fact that we were finally about to meet our baby! The fact that our day of waiting was about to be over went a long way in turning my frown upside down. It was also nice to know that since this was a non-emergency situation, everyone could take their time and I could still have a relaxed, enjoyable delivery.

Once I got past my brief pity party, it was time to get ready for delivery!

Surgery prep - again.

Round 2.
The nurse came in and told me she was going to shave me before taking me to the OR and I was like...WUT. That certainly never happened last time. Apparently it's a common practice in a non emergency situation. Ok then. 

They wheeled me back to the OR, lifted me on to the table, and the anesthesiologist worked on getting me completely numb. I'd been starting to feel contractions again on and off all day. They give you a little button with the epidural to push if you want another dose of the magic numbing juice, and I'd been pushing it. A lot. Obviously you don't want to feel like you need to push it during surgery. Once I was completely numb, they allowed Eric back in. The meds made me feel like I couldn't catch my breath, so they gave me an oxygen mask, which helped a lot. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was nervous, and I was honestly able to say no. I was really relieved it would be my doctor performing the surgery this time (when Dalton was born there was no time to wait for her so they had to grab any doctor that was available). While a c-section wasn't what I wanted, it was familiar and I felt like I knew what to expect. I even told Eric he could go ahead and watch this time (he's talked about doing that since Dalton was born) since I didn't need him to comfort me. 

He said he wasn't going to, so we just held hands. I was pretty woozy from the meds, and also the oxygen mask made it tough for him to understand anything I was saying. We were both expecting the surgery to take 3 minutes, like last time (literally, they did the first incision at 11:13 and Dalton was born at 11:16). However, apparently normal c-sections take a little longer. The whole time, I just felt like a kid in the backseat going "are we there yet, are we there yet?". I was so excited to find out if it was a boy or girl, and had a huge smile on my face under the oxygen mask the entire time. While she was in the middle of things, my doctor told me that the baby would never have been able to come out vaginally, which made me feel better about our decision, although annoyed with my stupid pelvis. 

After what seemed like forever, we heard a baby cry! They called Eric back behind the curtain, and he announced "It's a boy!". Of course I was immediately crying, and after another long wait, the nurse brought our second beautiful son, Royce, over to meet me. Like I suspected all along, it turns out I can love another child as much as my first born. 

Perfection.

Look at my poor little coneheaded boy!

I have a lot more I want to talk about, but since this is already very long and supposed to be just a birth story, and my percocet is kicking in, I'll cut things off for now. It's about time to go snuggle my sweet little baby anyway. I usually proof read but right now I'm just going to blame any errors on the pain meds and sleep deprivation. Give me grace #twoundertwo


Monday, May 2, 2016

#babycomeout


I'm ready. Today is 38 weeks and 3 days and I want this baby out of my body. (But also thinking HOW did I get so far along and sad that it's almost over - I vacillate.) I really never got to that point with Dalton, until I was actually in early labor but didn't realize it. I truly can't complain, I've had it pretty good. Yesterday, I felt like crap, and kept getting in and out of the bath because it was the only way I felt comfortable, which is what I did in labor with Dalton. But, I woke up still pregnant, so, not the case this time.  Today, I actually felt pretty good, which is both enjoyable and annoying, because feeling good does not bring babies into this world. I'm more just ready to MEET THIS CHILD and I'm tired of waiting to snuggle this little baby. Not to mention, find out the sex.

Last time I was struggling with the crippling fear of impending labor, delivery, and worst of all, motherhood, so I was content to put all that off a bit. Now, while I know labor is going to suck, I guess I can't really complain since I could have just skipped it and scheduled a c-section. On the bright side, I now realize motherhood is awesome, so I am beyond excited to welcome a newborn. NOW.

On the other hand, I'm in no hurry for my one on one time with this precious baby to end.



I'm really focused on doing ALL THE THINGS with him right now and just soaking in our fun times together.

Train museum
These two little boys...I can't even with their cuteness. 

Baby bump photobomb
Indoor playground
Crafting - how are ALL his little friends so freaking cute??
Just going for a rainy walk as soon as we wake up - this kid LOVES to be outside!
Al fresco dinner date - first Popsicle!
My amazing girlfriends threw me a sprinkle (baby shower for a second baby) this weekend! I was so excited (it wasn't a surprise, they told me about it).

Absolutely love these ladies!


I didn't think we would have a shower or sprinkle or anything with kids so close together, it didn't really occur to me. We are certainly well stocked with baby stuff! Not knowing the sex means no buying clothes, and we have a good stash of cloth diapers. (Although who knows if we really have enough, I guess time will tell.) But it was wonderful having a bunch of friends together to celebrate the new baby's arrival. They did everything and even though it was at our house, I didn't have to lift a finger and just got to enjoy the party. I can't get over how lucky I am to have such great friends!

 
And of course, eating delicious food. 

It seemed like yesterday we were attending our baby shower for Dalton? Insane. This time we had 7 toddlers running around our house and it was hilarious. I seriously love this age so much. I'm so mad I didn't think to get a group photo (I was trying this thing called enjoying the moment). 

When you try to take a family picture with a toddler...



Ok, first of all, this cake is adorable. Second of all, the inside is super cool. 

Third of all, my sister surprised me with my own snapchat tag? Who even knew you could do that?!

I DID A NURSERY PROJECT! After the sprinkle, I got crazy motivated to get stuff done around the house, which is super unlike me. I didn't even take a nap, and this was on a Saturday. I went on a last minute shopping trip to get some "essentials", like frames for some prints we've been meaning to hang for like 6 months, and a husband pillow (the kind where you sit up with the arms) to nurse in bed. I washed and put away a bunch of baby stuff, although it's mainly just swaddles and towels for now. The only clothes are a few gender neutral sleepers and onesies. I have bins of hand me downs in the basement for either sex, although if Mother Nature doesn't get the memo that it's spring, I'm going to have to get some new stuff anyway!

The project I did was to replace all the handles on Eric's ugly old dresser from his bachelor pad days. While I would still probably consider this dresser an eyesore, it does hold clothes, so we are using it, and I think it's an improvement.


Before - ugly 80s gold and half of them are missing anyway.

After - better lighting, more organization, and silver handles (although they look gold here?)

The changing pad is hasn't arrived yet from Babies R Us, which is irrationally annoying me because Dalton's room is right down the hall and fully equipped for diaper changes. The important thing to remember is that this project is EXTREMELY unlike me. Normally, my thought process would be "well, do the ugly handles open the drawers?". Since the answer was yes, that meant there was no work necessary, and it was time for a nap. BUT, I did the project anyway, purely for aesthetics. Pat on the back for me. Also, I got to use the drill, which was fun. 

I thought all that unnecessary project nonsense was what people refer to as "nesting" and maybe it was time for the baby to arrive, but, no, it's been over 48 hours and still pregnant. 

The end of pregnancy seems kind of like TTC (trying to conceive) to me. While TTC, I constantly over analyzed every single little feeling, sure it meant I was pregnant. I'm tired/achy/headachy/more hungry/less hungry/nauseous/lightheaded etc etc...PREGNANT. Except usually...not. Those were just symptoms of being a human adult. Now I'm in the same boat. My back hurts/I'm more tired/less tired/more hungry/less hungry/nauseous/more insomnia/less insomnia/actually cleaning, etc, etc, I must be going into labor! Except...not. 

By the way, a long time ago when I first announced this pregnancy, a commenter asked me about TTC this time, and I completely meant to post about it. But, I did not, because I'm forgetful. Her question was, since it took us a year to conceive Dalton, was this similar or different? SO different! This time, I got pregnant immediately, which was unexpected, hence the somewhat small age gap between the two kids (19 months). But we are super excited about them being BFF and there's no going back now anyway! And to be quite honest, I found TTC to really suck and be extremely stressful, so this experience was absolutely fantastic and I'm very grateful for it. 

So, that was a lot, but I had to get it all out there. Just in case I go into labor. 

Are you team blue or team pink? Because the sex of my baby should be very important to you and first and foremost on your mind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Freezer Meal prep


Ok, there is just something about seeing those teeny little newborn diapers and swaddles ready to go in the dresser, right? Eric did a lot of work clearing out the nursery this weekend and you can actually walk in there now.

Still has a bunch of random crap, but LESS random crap.
My friend just asked me what the theme of the nursery is. The theme is "stuff we got for free and/or already owned". See - really old junky dresser, equally old futon because we still plan to use it as a guest room temporarily while the baby sleeps with us.

I even bought a print for the wall which is SO not like me. Now the question is, will I actually get it hung before the kid can talk and voice his or her own preferences? #notlikely There are very few clothes in the dresser yet because even though I am fine with dressing a girl in Dalton's old clothes, I have a giant bin of cute as hell newborn clothes from my niece so I'm holding out to see which one to unpack.

Now I'm at the point where every morning I go through my day and try to get an idea of what we would do if I went into labor at all the various points. Spoiler - most of them are "I don't really know, it's not convenient, I probably won't go into labor today anyway". I'm group strep B positive again, which isn't really worth mentioning except that it means I need to get to the hospital right away if my water breaks to receive antibiotics. And daycare is in the complete opposite direction of the hospital, but my water never broke with Dalton and I got the antibiotics in plenty of time so I'm sure it will all be fine.

I'm pretty sure this baby will be born around my due date (May 13), like his or her older brother. No reason, just my intuition. Speaking of, I have NO clue about the sex. Absolutely none. I was 100% sure Dalton was a boy from 8 weeks on, and had two really vivid dreams the tech told us it was a boy the night before we found out. This time - I've had almost 38 weeks and I'm completely clueless. Eric thinks it's a girl.

I'm blogging right now primarily to brag that I'm pretty proud of myself. With Dalton, I did a pretty decent job preparing freezer meals, especially considering we were in an apartment with a freezer approximately the size of a shoe box.

So much easier with an actual kitchen.

This time, we have plenty of room, but I'm lacking energy. Severely lacking. Like, it's seriously a problem. I was also kind of lost about what to make, because a lot of things that freeze so well (chili, soup, casseroles) aren't always what you're craving on a 100 degree day in July. I had resigned myself to relying on takeout post baby. While that's a delicious option that I appreciate, it's not ideal for the following reasons.


  • I'm already not thrilled about spending summer with the post - baby fat, and ordering pizza on the reg isn't going to help anything in that department. 
  • The mom guilt is strong with adding a sibling, I really don't need to be feeding my kid massive amounts of takeout to add to that. We're FAR from psychos who don't let our kids eat birthday cake or anything, but I try to give him some nice home-cooked meals which include veggies., even if he doesn't necessarily eat them. 
  • It's expensive, and you know what else is expensive? Kids. 
Don't get me wrong, I see plenty of delicious takeout in our future, in fact, it's been a significant part of my pregnancy diet. But I actually got motivated enough to ensure that we will at least be eating some home - cooked, decently healthy (or at least healthier than Dominos) meals this summer. 

In progress

I relied on my friend Jessy's Guide to Freezer Meals (which I highly recommend) and Pioneer Woman, because, it's Pioneer Woman. Here's what I made: 

  • PW Enchiladas - Eric is so not a leftover person and he was so mad when I said he couldn't eat the rest of these because I was freezing them for post baby - they are AMAZING.
  • PW Turkey Tetrazzini - I made this when pregnant with Dalton and froze it and it was pretty much our favorite frozen meal of them all. 
  • PW breakfast burritos - I severely neglected breakfast in my meal prep last time and clearly that's not going to fly with a toddler during round 2. I actually made banana bread several times this pregnancy to freeze, but, it never made it to the freezer. It's so addicted. I've never tried these but they smell delicious and, again, it's Pioneer Woman.

The filling

  • Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo - I figured we can just blast the AC to get in the mood for this, I made this soup before and it's totally worth eating even in June. 
  • Turkey Chili - Same as above, and you just can't go wrong with chili. 
  • French Onion Chicken - I didn't save the link for this recipe because it didn't wow us, but we had leftovers that I froze and we would eat it again. 
  • My mom's baked ziti with homemade sauce - It's epic. Just trust me. We had it for dinner tonight and there are tons of leftovers to freeze. 
I forgot at least one ingredient for every recipe, because, pregnancy brain, but the following two the forgotten ingredients were crucial, so I plan to finish tomorrow after hitting the store. 

Jessy has assured me they are both delicious, and will be easy to throw on the grill with some veggies. I loved taking Dalton to the farmer's market as a baby, and I have high hopes of figuring out how to leave the house with two kids and do it again this summer.

I'm also hoping to make How Sweet Eats lactation cookie recipe, because I love all her recipes, and freeze the dough, but I haven't gotten there yet. 

Dalton loves to help in the kitchen. While his company is always appreciated, it's not always helpful. I had to do most of these while he wasn't home, or while Eric was there to assist his helping. I love having him around to cook dinner, but cooking that many meals required serious focus (I made the enchiladas, turkey tetrazzini and french onion chicken earlier but the rest I knocked out in one day).


What's your favorite takeout food? We got Five Guys the other day, and I've carefully considered this, and I really feel Shake Shack is superior to Five Guys. Thoughts? Other current obsessions is a local pizza place near our house, and in general I've just been more into Indian food than usual this pregnancy (but it's always delicious).